Todays readings.. 2 Chronicles 1&2, Ezekiel 39, John 5
The words of Jesus recorded in John ch. 5 make it one of the most challenging chapters in the Bible. After healing a man lame and unable to walk from his birth – Jesus declares that “… the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel.” [v.20].
In v. 25 we have some particularly thought challenging words! “I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.” What kind of “dead” is he talking about?
Our thoughts go back to what we read in ch. 3 – the conversation of Jesus with Nicodemus, when Jesus told him, “You must be born again” and be “born of the Spirit.” [v.7,8] This is the re-birth from ‘death’ that Jesus is talking about! And it was “now here”! It occurred when they listened to Jesus and took his words into their hearts. It happens today to those who read and truly absorb God’s word.
Paul told the Ephesians (2 v.1), “you were dead in trespasses and sins”. The spirit inspired message of Jesus and his followers brought about the “hour” in which those ‘spiritually dead’ were made alive – spiritually! Their minds were opened to the real meaning of life! That “hour” is in its final period in our days.
The climax to Jesus’ words is in v.28, a prophecy yet to be fulfilled when Jesus returns. Jesus declares, “an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.” [v.28,29]
But those who have never bothered to learn and know his voice – the ‘life giving’ words he spoke – causing them to “be born again” (remember what Jesus said to Nicodemus – John 3 v.5-7) they will not be “among those who hear” when Jesus comes to establish his kingdom. How sad! But they will not be “conscious’ to know – they will have followed “the way (that) is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many …” [Matt. 7 v.13]. Let us be ready for the “hour (that) is coming”?
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